The Moments of my Minutes Create the Days of My Life!
Listening to the seconds tick away on the wee alarm clock by my bed, I am aware of the fragility of the moment. As soon as I become aware of it, it is gone and the next one is here and so those moments flow through my life. Awareness is a funny thing. The mind tries to grasp the concept of awareness, but there is nothing to grasp, since awareness is simply is. All I can really know about awareness is how it feels/looks/sounds.
Depending on circumstances, I might feel peace, or joy, or the absolute freedom and bliss of being totally immersed in Presence. I might feel awe as I look at a morning sky breaking over the rooftops outside my window, streaks of delicate pink and gold painted across the backdrop of infinity. Or if I am sitting working at my computer, I might feel a burst of joy exploding through my senses, and then I might approach the next project in an entirely different frame of mind from the previous moment – I am happy to be alive and to be experiencing whatever is in front of me in this moment.
I might be in conversation with a friend and I suddenly am aware of the unique expression of the being before me and how absolutely amazing that expression is with all its twist and turns. Or I might be at a Thanksgiving dinner and feeling incredibly grateful for the life I am living and the friends and family that inhabit it.
It’s the Thoughts ABOUT the Moment, not the Moment Itself, that Cause Suffering.
How challenging the mind can make it to get into the Present Moment – always running off on some story. How torturing those stories can be at times: you just want the mind to shut up and go away and give you some peace. No wonder eastern philosophies call it the monkey mind. And you can’t control it. All you can do is surrender to it, become a living meditation, let those thoughts go by, one at a time, the way clouds scurry across a stormy sky, remembering as much as possible to ask yourself “Who IS this? This isn’t who I really am. What is this story I am telling myself?”
When I am truly immersed in the Present Moment, I’m not necessarily thinking, rather I’m engrossed in what the Present Moment actually is; whether it be a work project, cleaning up the yard, driving down the road, or learning a new software. It’s the thoughts about the moment that create the emotions that can cause distress – usually something along the lines of it/he/she/they should/shouldn’t be like this. But if I am fully immersed in the moment, then there is no space for thought beyond that which that particular moment requires. Always, in the background of our experience, is Presence, whether we are aware of it or not. Presence loves to flow through form and out into the world. We tend to get in our own way by allowing thoughts of judgement or fear, anger or worry, irritation or frustration, or even a surge of superiority which can create a false high. All those thought patterns block the free flow of Presence.
Surrender to the Present
One element of living the moments in my minutes is the surrender of the mind. Eckhart Tolle’s teachings talk of accepting what is in this moment, since in this moment you cannot change it. You may be able to change a future moment by actions you take in this moment, but this moment is it.
So saying “I surrender to what is in this moment”, means no resistance, no judgement, no wishing things were different. Other elements of surrender are saying “I surrender to WHERE I am. I surrender to WHAT I am. I surrender to HOW I am. I surrender to WHO I am – all in this moment – not tomorrow, not yesterday, today, here, now. I surrender to the greater good that exists beyond my understanding, in absolute faith. I surrender to the Presence that brings me what I need to say and do, when I need to say and do it, and why I need to say and do it, in the actual moment of that need.
The Right Place at the Right Time
When I think of being conscious and aware in the moment and then I think of the constant stories with which my mind distracts me, I realize I am missing out on the experience of those moments. What a waste of time, of a lifetime! If I really want to live a creative and juicy life, full of the joy and passion that Presence expressing through me brings into my experience, then I have to be living as many moments in my minutes as I possibly can. What then follows are the days of my life that will be still challenging at times, but which always bring a sense of fulfillment and peace and a deep inner knowing that I truly am in the right place and the right time, all the time.